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Dez Wells clutch as San Miguel hands NLEX its first loss in Dubai

by Reynald Magallon, October 05, 2019 2:37am

Dez Wells was clutch in the dying seconds, scoring on a layup that put the San Miguel Beermen ahead for good to hand the NLEX Road Warriors its first taste of defeat, 98-94, in the 2019 Governors' Cup at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.

Wells finished with a game high 32 points none bigger than the last two that gave the Beermen a 95-94 lead with just 23 seconds left in the game.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair with NLEX ahead by one, 82-81 after three Kiefer Ravena free throws with 5:55 remaining in the payoff period. June Mar Fajardo though scored inside to shove the Beermen back ahead but Ravena quickly retaliated with two free throws before forcing a turnover on the other end which led to a JP Erram jumper enough for a three point cushion, 86-83 with 4:19 to go.

Fajardo then scored on a turn around jumper but Jericho Cruz answered back with a long bomb. Dez Wells then scored on an and-1 before a Fajardo free throw tied the game once again at 89-apiece with 2:20 left in the game.

Cruz then scored on a layup to give NLEX the two point lead but Wells replied with a jumper to tie the game once again. Ken Ighalo then nailed a huge trey to shove the Road Warriors back ahead, 94-91 with 1:15 remaining. 

SMB, however, refused to give up as Fajardo and Wells conspired to initiate a 7-0 finishing kick for the Beermen. Fajardo nailed two free throws before Wells scored on a layup with 23 seconds remaining to give San Miguel a razor thin 95-94 lead. NLEX then came up dry on their next offensives as Ross secured three crucial free throws in the end game to put the game to rest.

Wells also added 14 boards and four assists to complete his splendid performance while also getting ample support from Alex Cabagnot and Fajardo who contributed 20 and 16 points respectively.

Kiefer Ravena paced the Road Warriors 20 points while Olu Ashaoulu was limited to his lowest output this conference with 11 points. With the loss, the Road Warriors dropped to a 3-1 record while the Beermen, who had to survive after Terrence Romeo got thrown out early in the fourth quarter improved to a clean 3-0 card.

The Beermen were off to a hot start erecting an early double digit spread at 16-6. The Road Warriors however battled back and come within two, 20-18 at the end of the first frame. It was tighter affair in second frame with NLEX managing to take the lead at some time but SMB still took a one-point cushion, 42-41 heading into the break. It was a back-and-forth third quarter with SMB still on top 71-69 heading into the final frame.

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